We need to talk about an injustice | Bryan Stevenson


In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at /> If you have questions or comments about this or other TED videos, please go to



Mikel1988
Bryan Stevenson for President
Lisette DuFore
Everyone go read his book, Just Mercy. It was one of the most powerful and inspiring books I've ever read.
Megan Thomas
"The way to think about it is not do people deserve to die because of the crimes they commit but do we deserve to kill?" amazing
Danielle Alexis
52 years old??? He look 30!
ytjhhh
We won't be judged by our intellect, technology, design. You dont judge a society by how they treat the rich , the powerful, the privileged You judge the character of a society by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated. Because it is in that nexus we understand truly profound things about who who we are. 16:50
VZA
Grandma tells him not to tell anybody... gets on TED and first thing out of his mouth...
ezyfnef
People talk about frogs on TED and rake in millions of views but a topic this crucial to the integrity of our society gets about 300k. Distasteful!
Ashok Vardhan
One of the most powerful talks I have ever heard on TED. Bryan Stevenson is a very powerful speaker.
Simon Chris
This is one of the best Ted Talks.
Kay2B
How does a human hear this injustice and turn his/her head? When Bryan speaks "If I lived during the lynchings, I would have not allowed it," "If I lived during slavery, I would not have allowed it," " If I lived during the "terrorizing" of black/brown people, I would have done something to stop it," I reflected on how often I have thought those thoughts and heard those words from people who believe their passionate positions. I realize I need to move beyond, "If I lived..." to how I live today. Share the injustices. Encourage discussions to change the "narrative," move to give hope to someone with no hope, believe I can make a difference by moving out of my comfort zone. I am living now. I will...
Mark Walton
Thank you Bryan Stevenson. Thank you for helping me gain a much deeper understanding of the power of identity and compassion. The politics of fear and anger disconnect us from our humanity. So true.
Moli Meshulam
This is legitimately the best TED Talk I've ever watched.
Andreas Georgiades
Stephen Colbert sent me here. Thank you, Bryan for what you do. We are all proud of you.
qwer
"We are more than the worst thing we've ever done...the moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice. All of our survival is tied to the survival of everyone." This man is amazing, this TED talk is wonderful.
liltika007
It's a shame how few views this video has...
tinkerhelll
One of the more inspiring TED talks I've watched.  Wish our country had more folks like this running things.
Candace Robinson
I did not want him to stop talking! 😳
momandson cookingshow
I had not thought that Germany didn't have the death penalty and it is amazing that each generation that followed has remembered why they don't.
Yoonseong Lee
The best talk I've ever heard.
proelium555
I'm french and we haven't got the death sentence in France. This talk permit me to see that the injustice exist in the World and that's a problem. I've an exposed tommorow at school and i'll speak about this talk because it touched me. I'm sorry for my bad english, don't hesitate to correct me :) Thank's for reading.
zane Smith
This guy is a true story teller
ytjhhh
We have a system of justice in our country that treats you much better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. Wealth not culpability shapes outcomes. Very true' Bryan Stevenson. 6:45
Farhana Jabbar
Outstanding! "United States is the only country in the world where we send 13 year old to jail to die" very disappointed. Shame on us.
Jonathan Michael
Thank you for posting this, TED.
Francina Jones
i was listening to NPR on Monday night and he was being interviewed. I needed to know more about this young man. I know he has kept his eye on the prize. So empowering and thought provoking. 
Delores Vickers
Today would be a good time to give that talk on National TV.
hope dean
"We have a system of justice in this country that treats you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent" I watched 13th on Netflix (cannot highly recommend enough - Academy Award-nominated documentary with different viewpoints and connections that I didn't even know about) and Bryan Stevenson was one of the people interviewed for the documentary. He speaks so calmly and clearly and obviously has a good head for what's right. He really knew what he ws talking about.
An gela
An intern at my office suggested this TEDX...I heard him on NPR awhile ago (I THINK it was him) and LOVE his life journey - life work!
Kenz Nguyen
It's really inspiring of this talk. My respect, sir! Especially the "non-alcohol" thing.
Emma-Inemesit Richardson
Wow. One of the best TED talks out there. I can't believe I'm only watching this now. I must read this man's book.
John Byrne
his book was awesome
Lucy L
He spoke today at my University and it was truly an amazing speech
Bilal Brown
One of my favourite TED talks. Exposing U.S. double standards.
Jackson Douglas
using this video for a research paper on the death penalty and it helped a lot thanks
Terrible Person From Louisiana
its a shame how this has not gone viral given his extremely important message...
Big Dumb Bich
The real wealth state problem is that if you are poor, you cannot afford a very good lawyer frequently, and if you are rich then its the opposite.
MFC MisFits Company
Phenomenal, that's all I can say about this video! Brian Stevenson is so on target. Society as a whole must fix the judicial system. It's bias, prejudice, and complete and utterly chaos, must end!
Mmb Kush
he should run for president i would vote for him
Dee Man
I'm 38 yrs old and was in the system since '97. I've now been off probation and parole for three yrs now. Praise God!!!! I beat the odds. But I can't vote or carry a firearm. I guess their plan still worked. They won the battle but I won the war! #Jesuslivessatandies#theend
KaySix
...is anyone else crying?
Hail Mari
This has got to be my favorite Ted Talk!
C. F. Patterson
My son, who just happens to be incarcerated in the state of Wisconsin, brought me here. My ONLY child received a 25 year sentence, for PROVEN self defense, has spent 8 yrs in prison because the judge WOULD NOT address the questions that the jurors posed when asking for clarification on the charges, the prosecutor TOLD LIE after LIE instead of presenting the facts that led to my Son having to defend himself as well as the BLATANT tampering with evidence and witnesses. While in the process of obtaining our own EXPERIENCED criminal law attorney, the judge declared my Son as indigent and appointed an attorney that admitted to NEVER HAVING the experience of a criminal law case...AND the fact that this court appointed attorney was under criminal investigation for misconduct!! Oh I forgot to mention that because the trial took place about a week before Xmas that year, the case was "rushed" because the judge announced that "we need to wrap this up... It's almost Christmas and I have things to do." This statement is in the transcripts!!
avedic
Gah....what an amazing talk. His example about Germany...and what it would mean if they were executing people today...who were disproportionately Jewish....really struck a chord. If Germany was doing that, there would be outrage...and rightly so. There's so much I could say about this talk...but I hope most of you already know what I want to say, because you're thinking it too. Sadly, there's lots of excuse making and outright racism in the comments. That's YouTube for you. Oh well. I love how this talk was sans-Power Point and whatnot. It was just one man...speaking with eloquent passion to a crowd of transfixed people.
Majus Franz
i work in Berlin, germany in a ghetto district on a school with arabian, turkish and black childrean to give them a better live, and brian stevenson gives me also the view that i do the right thing and do more!!!
Cri Video
Creating crime free society is possible.We just need to reform prison system as to be more about rehabilitation then about punishment. To be real correctional facility.Let us create crime free society together . Check us on indiegogo Freedom behind bars
Gracie Gonzalez
His bashful smile and quiet "thank you"s as he receives a standing ovation at the end are very heart-warming.
RETiredGM
"We have a justice system in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than poor and innocent. Wealth, and not culpability, shapes outcomes. And yet we seem to be very comfortable". Bryan Stevenson
Noel Elizabeth
I saw him speak at University of Michigan last night,it was incredible. laughed and cried all the way through.
emily
Do we have the right to kill? That was a really thought provoking question. I loved this!
Slaughter
I wish he would run for president
rana banana
An extremely inspirational, eloquent and beautiful speech.
Nikki Berry
This needs more views. I got teary-eyed near the end.
Juleen Powell
This presentation is super powerful, I'm brought to tears. I don't know you but I feel extremely proud of you, your work and what you stand for.
Barbara McGhee
I just spent the last 23:41 minutes with a lump in my throat.  I am moved. Being of mixed races and having a history of experiencing the brutality of our justice system, this was awe inspiring.  If we could ALL just ingest this talk and then act on it.
Brendan Kim
The best lecture of my life. Inspires me every time I watch it.
Manuel Antunes
Inspiring intervention but I suspect it's not only in America that society accepts better a  rich guilty  than a poor innocent - it is global. At least, it is the same here in Portugal. Thank you for your words. I hope they reach many, many people around the world - I'm contributing with my little effort.
kayla francis
He deserves some sort of Noble Peace prize.. Just so inspiring.
Vicki Howe
Wow! This man will bring great change!
Creative Sound Lab
Wow. 17:00 It's how we treat the poor which tells us the person we really are.
M. Va'enuku
The Guard & the Chocolate Milkshake is what his work is all about. So grateful I stumbled across your book and your work. Inspiring! #JustMercy
Mary Jane
Bryan Stevenson what a beautiful human being you are! I AM PROUD OF YOU! Much love from Germany
Brian A
Stevenson 2016
Anthony Spencer
How David Blaine gets over 7 millions views and this only gets under 500,000 is shocking. One of the best talks I have ever listen. Great stuff
Zain Sheikh
One of the best TED talks I have every seen, good luck Bryan Stevenson!
ytjhhh
Our Humanity depends on everyone's humanity. We have to embrace these challenges
lura garcia
love this guy! Just Mercy is amazing. read it in two days :)
Denilson Moreira
One of the most inspiring talks ever. Hold on. Who else is here because of "Talk Like TED"?
Loren Legalhair
I read Mr. Hinson’s book “The Sun Dies Shine,” and I was so inspired by Mr. Stevenson I had to read his boon “Just Mercy.” Your grandmother was right, you are special. God bless you and thank you for your dedication.
PhantomPianist91
Great talk, really enjoyed it!
Ring0fSaturn
Thank you, TED, for this post. Ryan Stevenson's talk is stunning and starkly relevant.
Alex T.
Just got the book, “Just Mercy.”
Dawn Stewart-Walker
Appreciate his work bringing injustice to light. His book is excellent.
Leye Carter
LMAO so Delaware is the deep south now??
Farheen Khan
Absolute favorite Ted Talk
darren motise
Read his book, "Just Mercy." It will blow your mind.
Carla Marie Mills
I have so much Respect for this Man.
Michelle Kalski
Just finished his book, "Just Mercy". Overflowing with respect for him. Compassionate, brilliant and unwavering in his work to help the most vulnerable among us.
Elisha Jacobs
Awesome speaker! Had an opportunity to see him speak live today. Life changing
Edward Wu
This is a great speech, it is very deep subject, generally people only concern about salary and living status in a small circle, but more likely fundamental of society must be fair and respectful enough to sustain every small circle stays in a positive and balanced status. it has to focus on the main point like human society or circulation of global, not an occasion.
Gracie Gonzalez
"The opposite of poverty is justice."
Silent Observer
Thank you Mr. Stevenson! <3
Louis Richard
Thank you Mr. Stevenson. What a great lesson you give us all. With ALL my respect.
zette dl
Amazingly inspiring! One of the best ted talks indeed... Hats off to you Mr. Stevenson!
Doogle Ticker
Superb talk. Make America great by respecting the constitution, not by locking up poor black kids. Of all the countries on the planet, why is the USA never ranked as number one except for incarceration and military spending? Do fools run the USA?
Dark Lord
I know this was made a while ago but I just finished reading "Just Mercy" and I realize now how stupid america is as a country and I'm so glad there's people like him in this world to make us better and who actually want to help people who need the help. Thank you to Bryan
Masamune
I am currently reading his book 'Just Mercy' and it is absolutely incredible. What a wonderful man. Very informative , inspirational and empowering.
KlausM54
"The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice."...moved me to tears.
originalprinceeq
God Bless you Brian Stevenson ... you're the best ...
D Harper
Thank you so much mr Stevenson for your love ,compassion and commitment! For fair and justice of our people there should be millions of blk men standing with you for a change, much love sir .
Emily Laramore
My Social Work professor sent me here.
Kate Lynch
brave, brave, brave.
Arkita James
Riveting, this man is masterful in speech. Thought provoking!
Jacob Cherian
Yes! Let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness, that exalts a nation, flow like a never-ending stream! Thanks, Bryan!
boipelo polite
He's so amazing and intelligent... Love him ❤️
Sus Anna
Thank you for your fascinating teaching. Keep your eyes on the prize. Hold on.
Nathaniel x Vance
Absolutely amazing and so love fill! Excellent! So compassionate!
CavePunk
This man is coming to speak at my university and I'm so excited! Loved his book
Il Pra
Bryan Stevenson longest standing ovation in TED history
Joseph Santos
This was captivating, inspiring, and thought provoking. Thank you.
Dcwashington President
Thanks for your work brother. You are reaching more people then you know